“Fast and Loose” streamlined with ethical complexities, relatable emotions

"Fast and Loose" actors onstage Photo credit: Valerie Goldston

“Fast and Loose” is a whirlwind of emotions that probes into the complex nature of the human heart.

Theater professor Kathryn Bentley, also director of “Fast and Loose,” said issues dealing with ethics are complex.

“Nobody is exempt from dealing with issues that will make you question yourself and where you stand,” Bentley said. “One day you will have to ask yourself ‘what should I do…?’”

“Fast and Loose,” which consists of four one-act plays, will open October 9 and run through October 13 in Dunham Hall Theater.

“Fast and Loose” swiftly transitions from one scene to the next consisting of 20 scenes and 22 characters. Bentley said, however, that the characters will leave an impression.

“It is not hard to keep track of these characters because they are all so unique.  They are dealing with unique situations.  They all show up in the world very differently,” Bentley said. “There will probably be at least one character that an audience member will be able to relate to in some way.”

The four plays that make up this collaboration are “Wake God’s Man,” “Union,” “In This House” and “The Mating Habits of the Sage Grouse.”

The playwrights of “Fast and Loose” are José Cruz González, Kirsten Greenidge, Julia Marie Wyatt and John Walch.

The beginning features all 13 actors humming a hip-hop tune. They dance and improvise movements among ladders and stair steps.

Bentley said the play is like a huge puzzle and she is “surprised by new discoveries every day.”

A scene of riveting emotion from “Wake God’s Man,” consists of Beth, played by senior theater performance major Domonique Armstrong. Beth confronts the ghost of a priest played by senior theater major, Jeff Bennett. Through intense dialogue with him, she unfurls the pain of a secret foreshadowed at the play’s beginning.

According to Bennett, the priest’s character “has lived his entire life not searching for forgiveness and with a lot of guilt.”

In “Union,” characters live with poor working conditions. In their efforts to establish a union and assert their rights, they are tempted to give in to bribes by the factory owner’s son.

According to Ashley Beal, a senior business major and theater minor, her character Camille sticks to her best friend Jane throughout “because of loyalty…even though it’s a struggle being presented with her friend’s problems.” Beal said Camille is on this journey with her friend, but she tries to hold her accountable for “not sticking out with promises.”

“In This House” features a young, single pregnant woman who encounters a couple anxiously awaiting to adopt.

Junior theater major Amanda Wales sees her character, Kathy, as “anal-retentive” in hoping to adopt.

“She is uncomfortable because she doesn’t have control in the situation,” Wales said.

Her more human side emerges by play’s end when she reveals what went out of control earlier in her life.

Finally, in “The Mating Habits of the Sage Grouse,” true best friends are tested in a bar scene.

An intellectual college student named Adrian, played by senior theater major Tyson Cole, will learn life’s greatest lesson about friendship.

Cole said playing Adrian is challenging.

“I like playing Adrian a lot because I really admire his intelligence, but it’s hard mixing it with being high strung,” Cole said.

"Fast and Loose" actors onstage Photo credit: Valerie Goldston

“Fast and Loose” opens at SIUE’s Dunham Hall Theater Wednesday, Oct. 9, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 13.  Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. for Sunday.  It is recommended for ages 12 and up because of some adult language.  Tickets are general admission at $12 for adults (18 and older) and $10 for seniors (65 and older), children (under 18), and students (with a valid school I.D.).  SIUE students with a valid I.D. get in free.  Discounted tickets are available for groups of ten or more.

For more information, call the SIUE Box Office at 618.650.2774.



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